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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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Us 14, Paul Ryan 12, Obama 12, Biden 9, Joe Biden 9, America 7, Libya 7, Washington 6, Pbs 6, Ryan 5, Eugene 5, Benghazi 5, Anna Marie 5, Israel 4, Syria 4, John Brennan 4, Reich 4, Mr. Romney 4, Ohio 3, Msnbc 3,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    October 8, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00pm PDT  

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looking for a pulse while the patient's eyes remain open. the patient isn't dead. given the high correlation between vp debate winner and election winner, i think we can say for certain that this thursday night when biden and ryan square off, this race for all intents and purposes will come to an end unless it doesn't. all right. that does it for "the cycle." martin, it's yours. >> toure, a noun and verb in her sentences, high praise for sarah palin. thank you very much indeed. it's monday, october the 8th, and mitt romney's lies and half truths have now gone global. ♪ >> a tale of two mitts. mitt the hawk. >> hope is not a strategy. we can't support our friends and defeat our enemies in the middle east when our words aren't backed up by deed s. >> mitt the dog. >> clear eyes, full heart, can't
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lose. >> clear eyes, full heart, can't lose. >> so which mitt is it? confused? so are we. >> finally, i will recommit america to the goal of a democratic prosperous palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the jewish state of israel. >> the palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace. i'm a president for 100% of the american people and that's the real percent people care about, not 99% versus 1%. not 47% versus anyone else. i need to get 51.1% of the americans behind me. i'm not familiar with precisely exactly what i said but i stand behind what i said, whatever it was. >> we begin with mitt romney trying to keep his newfound momentum going amid new signs that his post debate bounce may be a flop.
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today's new gallup seven-day tracking poll putting the president up five points nationwide leading romney 50% to 45%. but that was before romney rolled out his latest effort to get a jump on global matters two weeks before he'll meet the president for their third and final debate on the topic of foreign policy. earlier today mr. romney visited the ji military institute to deliver what his campaign described as a major address on foreign policy and to try out some new fear-flavored zingers focused on the middle east. >> it's clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office. i know the president hopes for a safer, freer, and more prosperous middle east allied with us. i share this hope, but hope is not a strategy. >> but even after today's tenth major foreign policy address by mr. romney, questions remain
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about how he would conduct american policy toward the rest of the world. how about libya? >> in the libya i'll support the libyan people's efforts to forge a lasting government that represents all of them, and i'll vigorously pursue the terrorists who attacked our consulate in benghazi and killed our fellow americans. >> okay. now that he's both favored and deposed intervention in libya, he'll defiantly claim his position is exactly the same as the president. great. how about iran? >> i'll put the leaders of iran on notice that the united states and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. >> i wish someone would ask how that's different from the president. oh, wait, someone did. >> what is your red line with iran? >> well, my red line is iran may not have a nuclear weapon. >> president obama said exactly the same thing. he said it's unacceptable for
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iran to have a nuclear weapon. so your red line is the same as his. >> so that's the same. okay. surely there's a difference on israel and the palestinians. >> i'm recommit america to the goal of a democratic, prosperous palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the jewish state of israel. >> no, i guess that's the same again, but it is quite different from what mr. romney himself said behind closed doors back at that infamous fund raiser in boca raton just a few weeks ago. >> i look at the palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway for political pumpses, committed to the destruction and elimination of israel, and these thorny issues, and i say there's just no way. and so what you do so you say you move things along the best you can.
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you hope for some degree of stability. >> when he tried it on his own, he even managed to bungle the british olympics. as a new obama ad keenly reminds us. >> there are a few things that were disconcerting. >> if he's here to make friends, he's got a funny way of showing it. >> it really gives you pause. >> anything the romney camp has done as it relates to foreign affairs is beyond a stumble, it's an embarrassment. >> domestic policy, you talk about stuff you don't know. you make an ass of yourself. in foreign policy you start a war. >> a familiar face with very wise words. let's get right to our panel. in washington pulitzer prize winning columnist for "the washington post" eugene robinson and michael o'hanlon, senior fellow with the 21st century defense initiative. two men better equipped for today i could not find. eugene, you have been a foreign
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correspondent in places as far afield as argentina and europe. you know the middle east. mitt romney says he wants to arm the syrian rebels with serious amounts of military hardware. i ask you, eugene, is america ready and willing to start a proxy war with iran on the road to damascus? >> well, good question, and first of all, i think you have to ask given the way romney has changed his policy in various areas, you have to ask is he serious about that. but if he is, that's the one sort of bit of news that came out of his speech today. it's not as if we're not already at least assisting in the arming of the rebels. there was an intelligence finding by president obama that said we could give covert aid essentially through our allies, through the saudis and the qataris, but we have discouraged
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them from providing heavy weapons because we're afraid those heavy weapons might fall into the hands of terrorists. so that is the one difference that i think i heard. i'm not sure the american people are ready for that. but at least it's somewhat different from what president obama wants to do. >> eugene, i ask you the question again, is america ready for a prok proxy war with iran syrian soil? because that seems to me to be the only thing you can da deuce from mr. romney's tenth foreign policy speech today. >> that's the lonlcle implication and i think not. i think the american people are not ready for such a war. they'd like things to get better in syria. they'd like the atrocities to stop, and they'd prefer that the outcome be favorable to u.s. interests, but i don't think there's any desire to get into a proxy war. >> indeed. michael, the president urges assad to step down. he supports arab efforts in their opposition to the syrian
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government. given the instability of libya and egypt, isn't the president's cautious approach to syria the right one unless, and i repeat, unless we want to get involved in another war? >> hi, martin. well, to be honest with you, i think there is a fairly narrow range of disagreement between the two men here because, as you know, if we think about this kind of a war and we think of all of our range of possible interventions, providing or asking our allies to provide a few more weapons is a relatively modest step along the spectrum. we're not talking about american planes creating a no-fly zone in the romney speech. we're not talking about creation of any kind of a humanitarian protected ground zone up in the north -- >> but, michael, i'm sorry to interrupt you, mike, but we wouldn't expect any details from this man because he never gives us any. t the overarching theme is he wants a new approach. not the approach being expedited
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by the president. i accept he hasn't gone into details but he doesn't give us details about domestic policy. do you not accept that that's what he's saying, that he's pushing this country, were he to be in a position of authority, toward some military conflict? >> to be honest with you, i'm more worried about iran policy than syria policy. on syria policy, i don't hear the distinction as being as great as you are. you're right to point out the candidates haven't been so specific we can be sure and we can still have this debate because the candidates have not resolved their own stances very clearly. on iran policy, as your package pointed out, they both say an iranian nuclear weapon is unacceptable, but i tend to think that romney would perhaps give israel the green light to bomb sooner than obama might. this is a question of nuance. i happen to wind up on the dovish side of this issue or at least the relatively dovish side and prefer obama's apparently greater restraint and patience,
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but i think that's the issue where i see potentially a greater disagreement, even though their beginning statement is the same. but then romney has said he'd be less concerned about a possible israeli strike. i'm quite concerned about that. i think the president is, too. >> indeed. eugene, mitt romney in his speech today suggested that the turmoil in the middle east was because, and i'm quoting him, the president has not led. but when romney's advisers are pressed for answers, they tell "the new york times" to come back on november the 7th after the election. is that leadership? >> well, no. i mean, look, let's be honest, the whole thrust of the speech was to make it sound as if mitt romney's foreign policy would be bolder and more leader-like than president obama's without committing him to specific policy differences because he doesn't seem to believe in specific specifically different policies. and so he kind of wants to sound tougher but it is unclear to me that his policies would depart
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from the obama administration's policies at all. he would give us the impression he would be more tolerant of an israeli strike on iran. i personally am not convinced of that. i'm not convinced his policy wouldn't be essentially the same as president obama's, which is caution. >> indeed. eugene, michael, thank you both this afternoon. next, mitt's other extreme makeover. do lies even matter in america these days? stay with us. >> governor romney showed up to deliver a performance, and he delivered a very good performance. it was completely unrooted in fact. it was completely unrooted in the positions he's taken before, and he spent 90 minutes trying to undo two years of campaigning on that stage, but he did it very well. >> are you saying that governor romney lied or was dishonest? >> yeah, i think he was dishonest, absolutely.
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i'm barack oba ma, and i approve i'm barack this message. oba these appliances could have been made here in america. but a company called global tech maximized profits by paying its workers next to nothing... under sweatshop conditions in china. when mitt romney led bain, they saw global tech as a good investment... even knowing that the firm promoted its practice of exploiting... low-wage labor to its investors. mitt romney - tough on china? since when?
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mitt romney and his campaign team may need to stick to their game plan of delusion and deceit in order to win the white house because they have told us that you can't believe the jobs report when it contains good news and they have also determined that the polls they trashed that they then cited, only to trash again, are unfit for public consumption whenever they show that the president is in the lead. joining us now from minneapolis, anna marie cox of "the guardian" and in washington clarence page, a columnist for the chicago tribune. welcome to both of you. pew has just released a new poll that shows romney ahead by four points among likely voters.
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unlike many of those elsewhere, we actually accept polls. regard ltion of this finding, if bending the truth were a crime, it really did pay, did it not, for mr. romney at the first debate? >> well, this isn't the first time, if that's the case, and, indeed, shall we say he had kind of a loose relationship with the facts coloring them to favor his own side, and the question is does it matter at this point when we already know that about 95% of the voters have made up their minds and their feelings about the candidates are pretty well baked in. the people watching now are what we call the low information voters. they can't help it, they're busy with other things perhaps, but they're catching up to the campaign now, and they're going by first impressions, and they might not be that familiar with all the context of the figure that is romney is quoting, and this was where president obama could have done a better job of responding on the spot, but i guess he didn't want to appear rude. >> indeed. okay.
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i should point out that the gallup tracking poll today does have the president five points ahead, but the pew poll, as i said, has mitt romney ahead by four points. anna marie, speaking of those debates, do you have any doubt that paul ryan is going to go behind the podium thursday and utter exactly the same series of falsehoods that mitt romney did? because let's be honest, these two have been practicing virtually every day for the last two years. >> that's true. i think paul ryan will probably do what he's been doing for the past two years, which is to present himself as a wonk who is kind of above partisan bickering who just wants to offer solutions, but really his solutions are so based in unreality and based on da seat that if you know what he's talking about, you won't believe him. i do kind of wonder about the people tuning in right now. they're seeing a very different race and different paul ryan and romney than we have been watching for the entire past few months. if you just tuned in now, i think you might think mitt romney was a centrist which he
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has not been for the past year or so. if you are just tuning in, you might think paul ryan had pretty blue eyes and a set of solutions to aur. i don't know how biden is going to handle this. he's such a straight shooter, but maybe a straight shooter from the hip if i can mix metaphors. i'm not sure if he'll get frustrated, if he'll get angry, if he will just laugh it off, if he will come off as condescending. it will be interesting to see. >> right. clarence, "the washington post" spoke to republican voters in ohio, one of whom said of paul ryan's chances against joe biden, and i'm quoting the person, i think ryan is going to eat him alive. another said, he's dynamic, he knows his facts. do you think this is going to be a washout and that mr. ryan is literally going to trounce biden? >> i was pretty amused by that story, martin, because we were at a paul ryan rally. these are not exactly neutral observers. i suspect they're part of that 90%, 95% i was talking about before, people who observe
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conservative media and some of those lines they were given there sounded like they were -- they had been previously announced by conservative talk show hosts, but the fact is that this works to biden's benefit because it lowers expectations. there are people who only hearing the jay leno punch lines about joe biden who think he is a bumbling idiot, and here is a guy who has had something like four decades in the senate. people who don't have short memories remember how well he stood up with sarah palin at a time when the question was he had to be impressive without looking like he was picking on her. he played it just right, and i think he knows how to play this situation just right, and paul ryan at the same time has to be careful not to get too wonkish here with a lot of numbers and trying to impress everybody with his knowledge. >> anna marie, fear is also a very important part of the
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ryan/romney campaign. for instance, here is a sampling of paul ryan from an appearance this afternoon in ohio. take a listen to this, anna marie. >> you see if you look around the world what we are witnessing is the unraveling of the obama foreign policy. we can't afford these devastating defense cuts that the president is promising. among the things that we're going to do like stop this administration's assault on our religious liberties. >> so anna marie, i suppose the republican message is abandon all hope ye who vote obama? >> it does seem one of the way to look at the election is the hope versus fear which is something they tried to frame the election around, or the obama team tried to frame the election around last year and hope won. they're doing it again this year, the romney team is sort of playing into their hands in terms of making this about fear, fear about your religion being taken away, fear of unrest, fear of -- i guess they haven't quite played the gay marriage card yet, but they are basically saying like things are going to
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get worse, if you don't vote for us things will get worse, whereas the obama team says we think we can do this. we hope you believe us. please vote with us and we're going to make this better. and i do wonder which is going to work the best. i mean, we see some small upticks in optimism about the country. maybe that's a good thing for obama, but, you know, fear is not necessarily a losing card to play, and definitely they have doubled down on it and here i'm continuing to just go with metaphors as strong as i can. sorry. >> those are perfect. thank you both. next, big bird shows us why debates really do matter. stay with us. >> we think he's probably going to come at me like a cannonball. more pressure because mitt romney put on such a great performance that the bar is pretty high. there's also pressure because joe biden has been doing this for 40 years. [ man ] ring ring... progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol,
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so big bird, has being mentioned in the debate affected you at all? >> oh, it has. i feel like i'm famous now. it's so weird to think that just a few days ago i could just blend in like every other perfectly normal eight foo tall talking bird. >> mitt romney's latest blunder is brought to you by the letters p, b, and s, and by the number 70, because that's about how many millions watched the first presidential debate and saw romney make big bird the face of his plan to gut funding for anything that isn't a tax cut. oh, i should say finally saw romney do this because that line has been a constant refrain, particularly early in his campaign. >> i like big bird. i like my kids -- my grand kids watching big bird. i'm afraid big bird will have to
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get used to kellogg's con flakes. we're not going to kill big bird, but big bird will have advertisements. >> reaction to mitt's assault on public television is the perfect answer to anyone who claims that debates don't matter. pbs says 91% of households watch their programming at some point during the year, and to them what mitt says about big bird, or what paul ryan may say this thursday about whatever he's called matters is great day. left unanswered, however, is how much mitt thinks this will save the economy. well, i'll let him explain. >> i'm not going to get rid of big bird but there's probably going to be advertising on pbs because i'm not willing to borrow billions of dollars from places like china to pay for things we don't absolutely have to have. >> billions, mitt. hardly. the federal government will give about $445 million, and that's million with an "m," to the corporation for public broadcasting in the next fiscal
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year. two-thirds of that money will go to local tv and radio stations, some of which broadcast in poor regions of the country and would have to close their doors without this funding. pbs says that comes down to $1.35 per year per person. not a bad deal in any economy. stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up.
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from a smorgasbord of debate comedy to fudges those job numbers, here are today's "top lines," clear eyes, full hearts might lose. >> you have to hand it to mitt romney. president obama sure did. >> it's masterful, theatrical performance. >> my plan is different. it involves six reversals of
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position and three outright lie approximates. >> soo person acting job. >> i can't believe i forgot the anniversary gift. this is bad. >> governor romney said he killed osama bin laden. would you care to respond? >> no, you two go ahead. it looks like he took my million and spent it all on weed. >> where but on pbs can you find abbey. >> air, soul, thin. >> you are a badass mother [ bleep ]. >> when are people with pre-existing medical conditions. loser, people with pre-existing medical coops because he's not telling the truth. >> the brazenness with which he walked away from so many of the positions. >> they just perform flawlessly night after night. i can't always say the same. >> i like pbs. >> just a few days ago i could blend in like every other perfectly normal eight-foot tall talking bird. >> you're talking about the president of the united states playing with the bureau of labor statistics numbers. this is nixon stuff. >> i don't want to take back one word in that tweet.
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>> i don't believe the number and neither do any of the other people who have intelligence. >> do you think they change the numbers? >> i do. there's a lot of monkey business. >> trump and welch, rich people with crazy conspiracy. >> clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. >> we do this every year. pick out our pumpkins. >> oh, yes. >> biggest winner, america, is there anything more exciting than joe biden thinking it's up to him to get the lead back? >> let's get right to our panel now. msnbc's steve kornacki is the co-host of "the cycle" and former labor secretary, robert reich. steve, certain democrats and news personalities rip their hair out last week following the debate, as you know. the latest polling shows mixed results. the pew poll has romney up by four. gallup's daily tracking has the
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president up by five. what does that mean? >> yeah, first of all, you know, you always take one poll in isolation or even two can be problematic. the best thing always on these is to look there's a few sites that do polling averages, real clear politics, "huffington post," they average all the different polls and put them together. if you want to look at these two right now, they might kind of both be true and it's because of this. the gallup one measures seven days. it's still got a number of predebate days there when oen was ahead. it's got the immediate post debate when romney seems to have pulled even or taken the lead in the two or three days immediately after. >> immediately after. >> what gallup also showed apparently in the last day that's included in the seven days, there was ho movement back towards obama. there was an end to the movement toward romney. so that's why he went from three ahead in the seven-day track yesterday to five ahead in their track today. the pew one, if you're still with me, is only october 4th through october 7th. you're getting from obama's standpoint the worst of the worst in this pew one.
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none of the predebate, only the worst of the immediate post debate. sort of remains to be seen how that shakes out. >> that's very helpful. secretary reich, if the gallup tracking poll indicates we're back where we were before the debate, could it be that the one night stand of romney's performance really isn't swaying voters as much as maybe a drop in the jobless rate to below 8%? >> martin, voters are concerned only about really one thing, and that is jobs. the second thing is the economy, but the economy to the extent it improves the jobs situation. and undoubtedly the job number and the job report friday had a very positive effect on voters. jound lying the presidential contest is who do you trust more to get jobs back -- >> but professor reich, i'm being told every day these polls are a conspiracy, these jobs numbers were a conspiracy. the bureau wation involved in
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some kind of, i don't know, alien abduction, and produced goous statistics. >> that's paranoia on the right, and the right has been paranoid for years. the bureau of labor statistics is completely insulated from politics. these are professionals. whether the president is republican or democrat, they have a record of telling it exactly as it is. they understand how sensitive these job numbers are, and anybody who thinks that the bureau of labor statistics is sort of gaming the system not only has no idea what the system is, has no idea what bls, the bureau of labor statistics, stands for and their record, but also is sort of paranoid about everything. if things are not going their way, a lot of people on the right, they just assume there's a plot against them. >> i'm sorry to persist with you, professor reich, but you have just disparaged the great donald trump. >> oh, heavens. >> thank you. >> i'm terribly sorry. >> i'm glad you apologized. >> let me -- i don't mean to disparage anyone at all. i'm a truth teller. i'm trying to tell the truth,
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but listen, just getting back to this issue of who do you trust more? the fact of the matter is people see mitt romney, they see this man with gleaming white teeth, with superficial attractiveness. he seems to be very, very articulate, but he stands for absolutely nothing, and what he does stand for to the extent he stands for anything, it's a rightward drift to days before we had medicare, social security, all of the things we need not only for good jobs but also for economic security for the middle class. >> indeed. steve, we've got the big face-off this week, vice president joe biden versus ball ryan. the pressure is on both of them. ryan saying mitt romney's performance makes it more difficult for him. people are suggesting that vice president joe biden is gaffe-ridden and incompetent. what are you expecting from this debate? >> i will go ahead and i would say i'd set the bar pretty high for biden because i think he's a much better debater than obama.
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one of the reasons biden ended up on the ticket with obama in 2008 was that in 2007 and 2008 running against hillary clinton, running against barack obama, it was biden who are often than not who would steal the show at those democratic debates. it never actually translated into votes for him but he impressed people in the obama campaign as somebody they wanted to have out there. you go farther back in his career when he first ran for president in 1988, he got derailed by a bit of a plagiarism scandal, but when he was using his own words, he was one heck of an orator. that was his reputation. a really strong communicator. i look at biden and his debate skills and communication skills, and i say escapable of doing what barack obama either couldn't or wouldn't do last week against mitt romney. >> right. professor reich, paul ryan is known for being an encyclopedia of numbers but can he effectively counter headlines like this one today, "gm to add 2,000 jobs in michigan"? if this race comes down to ohio and the auto rescue plays a major role there, that's a tough headline to counter for mr. ryan, isn't it?
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>> it certainly is. and what people in ohio and in the midwest generally know is the auto bailouts were critically important. ryan and romney said no to the auto bailouts and the president and the vice president said yes in the face of a lot of criticism and they have been proven right. paul ryan is an ideologue. he has a record and joe biden can pick on that record. joe biden can say to paul ryan, that $716 billion that you and romney keep on saying we are robbing from medicare, we are not robbing from medicare. we're actually extending the life of medicare. you, ryan, you use that 7$716 billion in your budget plan and yet you put it in there based upon you actually turning medicare into a voucher program. ryan has got to respond. ryan is a detail person. i think if biden charges very specifically and effectively what the lies are, that both romney and ryan have been
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telling, based upon ryan's previous record it's going to be very difficult for ryan. that's exactly what joe biden ought to be doing. >> indeed he should. steve kornacki, professor robert reich, thank you both, gentlemen. next, grab a pen. we have the latest lessons in science and history from the gop. stay with us. >> we all like pbs. i mean, i have grand kids, they love big bird and burt ander ni and so forth, but we borrow money effectively from china to make sure our kids don't have to watch advertising on pbs. my view is it makes sense to stop borrowing many and let our kids get used to corn flakes. >> sesame street was brought today by the letter "g" for grouch. the capital one cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone likes 50% more [ russian accent ] rubles. eh, eheh, eh, eh. [ brooklyn accent ] 50% more simoleons.
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mitt romney in the light of increasing evidence once believed in climate change, but he soon discovered that if he wanted to be the republican party's nominee for president, then he might have to drop his deference to science, something that congressman paul brown from georgia has done with considerable gusto. >> all this stuff i was taught about evolution, embryology and big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. as your congressman, i hold the holy bible as being the major directions to me on how i vote in washington, d.c. >> one wonders if those views are now shared by the republican nominee, mitt romney. joy reid is an msnbc contributor and the managing editor of thegrio.com, and matt miller is a columnist for "the washington post" and also an msnbc contributor. joy, i have to start with you. i always thought that embreology
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came from the wound but congressman brown, who serves the house science, space, and technology committee says it comes straight from the pit of hell. which is it? >> that would be the pit of hell. clearly when -- pit of hell. when first learned how to mount and ride the dinosaurs and the earth being 9,000 years old, god gave him the choice of whether he was going to have bible or science and reason. clearly man has gone down the route of hell by choosing science and reason. >> matt, another individual seeking a place in the pry mordal gallery of republicans is ron hubbard whose book contains this startling assertion, i will read it, the institution of slavery that the black race has long believed to be an abomination upon its people may actually have been a blessing in disguise. now, matt, what abraham lincoln be proud that a kurp rent heb of
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party believes slavery was a blessing in disguise? >> i don't think honest abe would have been proud hanging out with any of these guys. the problem with this republican blessing in disguise philosophy is it means republicans turn a blind eye to immense amount of suffering and injustice today. it let's them off the moral hook. what's the next thing going to be, minorities whose voting rights are denied this year because of all the moves we've seen in the states? that's a blessing in disguise because it just means they'll organize better next time? if the planet warms over because of global warming, is that a blessing in disguise because we'll just rebuild in a smarter way with the cockroaches afterward? you see where this leads. it's not pretty. >> have you been writing some of mitt romney's speeches? because i tell what you, that's beginning to sound like it. joy, i have to go on with mr. hubbard because he doesn't just stop on the slavery stuff. he really goes for it.
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another quote, the blacks who could endure those conditions would someday be rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation upon the face of the earth. >> yeah. >> why doesn't mitt romney junk the dream act and go for slavery as a mechanism for citizenship since this is exactly what mr. hubbard is recommending? >> well, you know what? the really disturbing thing is i think if mitt romney thought that was a path to get him, as he puts it, the 51% he needs to become president, he might actually kind of go for it. >> you don't mean that seriously. >> no, i don't mean that seriously. the problem with this, of course, is you have a republican base that's so far to the right that they don't like to hear things like science. they are against things like that because they feel that they are conspiring against their moral values. mitt romney would probably do well to repudiate one or two of these people, to have that sister souljah moment as they say and to sort of say, look, this isn't what i stand for as the leader of the republican party, but, of course, he won't do that because he can't afford to stop embracing any element of
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his party because he needs everyone in the tent in order for him to win. >> right. matt, does mitt romney have the guts to challenge any of the people within his own party? or is his collapse on climate change a sign that, you know, he'll tolerate some further amounts of repug nance if he has to? >> well, i think what joy says on this point until now has been right, which is he'll tolerate any amount of repug nance he thinks is necessary for him to win, but i do have one worry. as we go into the next presidential debate when you saw the new mitt the other day tacking enormously to the center, i have this fear for the president that he may pull a sister souljah at the next one and the most devastate be would if he said, look, i have thought about it, if we've done everything we can on the spending side to get our fiscal house in order, i think at the end of the day if people like me need to pay a little more in taxes, i'm ready to make that case to the country. if he did that and stiff armed the administration on tax cuts
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for the top, i don't know how the president would respond? >> what bf his commit to not raising taxes? >> i think what's been incredible at the close of this race with 29 days to go has been the room that finally the conservative base has allowed mitt romney to spurn them in a lot of ways because they just wanted the visceral enjoyment of seeing him win a debate against the president. that's more important to them and beating barack obama in a lot of ways is more important to a lot of base than ideology. now, i can't imagine mitt romney going to that extent as matt as said and saying -- >> and doing something sensible for the government and the country. we wouldn't do that. >> but i also couldn't put anything past him at this point. >> joy reid and matt miller, thank you both. next, the president on the road again, as mitt romney campaigns right now with an aircraft carrier in the background. so who has the upper hand today?
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nbc news's andrea mitchell has just confirmed white house counterterror coordinator john brennan is meeting top libya officials about what happened in the benghazi attacks. the house oversight committee will hold a hearing on that sensitive topic, too. kristin welker joins us live from los angeles. what more can you tell bus abou mr. brennan and his anticipated meeting? >> reporter: they're not sharing a lot of information about this meeting in part for security reasons. the fbi tried to get into benghazi right after that attack. it took them quite some time to do that, so they are being incredibly tight-lipped about the meetings that john brennan will have tomorrow, but again he
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will be meeting with top officials in benghazi. specifically we are told to talk about some of these issues, including security concerns that existed at the consulate. those are some of the questions that are going to come up on wednesday during those hearings that will be held on the hill. so there are a lot of questions that the white house has been fielding for a number of days now. certainly counterterrorism adviser john brennan will be meeting about those. as you know, the white house has been to some extent on going af president obama on this issue saying he hadn't been tough enough. the white house has responded by pointing to the fact that romney really responded to the attack in benghazi before he had all of the information. president obama gets strong marks when it comes to foreign policy, but there is no doubt, martin, that this has created some vulnerabilities for the president when you look at the polling. his polling has dropped on his handling of foreign policy from
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august to september. so the white house certainly concerned about this issue and sending john brennan to talk to top official there is in libya. martin? >> yeah. and also, kristin, you are out there in california where the president has again been reaching out particularly to latino voters continuing to extend that big differential, that big gap with mitt romney. what has happened so far today? >> reporter: well, president obama here announcing that the home of cesar chavez is now a national monument. this is a historic day but also certainly one that resonates for latino voters, not just in california, but in swing states like virginia, north carolina, nevada, and florida, swing states where it really does matter. if you look at the polls, president obama is leading mitt romney by about 72% to 20%. however, the big question is about turnout, and that's going to be the challenge, the obama
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campaign mobilizing their ground game. >> thanks so much kristin. and we'll be right back to "clear the air." [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ] [ male announcer ] the rhythm of life. [ whistle blowing ] where do you hear that beat? campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do.
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it's time now to "clear the air," and a few hours ago the rop nominee for president offered yet another of his shallow speeches on foreign policy. >> i will work with nations around the world that are committed to the principles of free enterprise, expanding existing relationships, and establishing new ones. >> yes, well done. mitt romney's position today bears scant relationship to anything he said in the past. and that's because in the world of mitt romney, there are no yesterday's.
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it doesn't matter whether it's gadhafi in libya or mubarak in egypt. jon huntsman said mitt romney is like a perfectly lubricated weather vane on the important issues of the day. this may help explain why the first debate was so taxing for the president. it was like arguing with a ghost. romney walked through previous positions like he'd never held them and proposed brand new ones that he conjured up on stage. for his part, the president didn't need more debate practice. he should have watched the republican primaries because he would have seen mitt romney laid bare. again, here is another republican answering questions about mitt romney. >> you said of mitt romney, somebody who will lie to you to get to be president will lie to you when they are president. i have to ask